Home / Uncategorized / Jam City’s Josh Yguado explains why we’re still a long way from being at the forefront of mobile gaming | Pocket Gamer.biz

Jam City’s Josh Yguado explains why we’re still a long way from being at the forefront of mobile gaming | Pocket Gamer.biz

It’s almost impossible to go a week without a company in the game industry being bought, sold, or split up.

The discussions and decisions that lead to an acquisition don’t just happen overnight.

It is one that requires numerous parts to be appropriately placed before the final go-ahead can be given. All that is usually shared is the announcement, not the insides.

To shed some light on what’s going on behind the scenes, PocketGamer.biz will speak to a variety of companies with strategy, long-term goals and the ongoing hurdles of an acquisition as part of our semi-regular Done Deal series.

This time around, we spoke to Jam City Co-Founder, COO and President Josh Yguado about the company’s recent acquisition of Ludia and the direction of the mobile games industry for the years to come.

PocketGamer.biz: First of all, can you explain where the idea for the takeover came from?

Josh Yguado: We know the Ludia management team and have admired their games for many years.

During our conversations it was very clear that our goals and skills were aligned and that it felt like the right time to finally join forces to become one of the largest and most successful entertainment-oriented developers and publishers of mobile games in the world.

What were the main goals of this acquisition and how long did the acquisition take?

The whole deal lasted about 10 months.

With Jurassic World Alive, Ludia has one of the most successful augmented reality and location-based games in the world. They’re the consummate gaming Hollywood studio with an award-winning portfolio of successful mobile games, including not only the Jurassic World franchise, but How To Train Your Dragon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and several upcoming DC and Disney titles.

We plan to keep acquiring great studios around the world

Josh Yguado

Our goal was to enhance Ludia’s amazing ability to create deep, rich and immersive games using Jam City’s comprehensive technology platform and data science user acquisition and live gaming operations.

In combination with our fundraising, the acquisition strengthens our overall position in the market. We plan to continue acquiring great studios around the world, expanding our games portfolio, and investing in our studios to develop and release entertainment experiences that rival Hollywood blockbusters.

What are the advantages of this acquisition for your company? Maybe new employees, resources or significant growth?

Not only are we one of the largest and most successful entertainment companies in the mobile gaming industry, but we’re bringing together incredibly seasoned and passionate talent from both companies to help us move forward.

We want to create products that fit into people’s lives and that inspire them. This includes developing AR and mixed reality games, socially oriented games, and games across multiple genres.

Ludia has a powerful portfolio and pipeline of games. We are integrating Ludia’s current titles like Jurassic World Alive, Lovelink and Dragons: Rise of Berk into our technology and data analytics platform to improve every player’s gaming experience and create lasting franchises for their core entertainment IP.

And we’re working together to maximize the potential impact of Ludia’s new games in development, including the recently announced DC Heroes & Villains and other future games.

Were there major hurdles during the process and, if so, how were they tackled?

This is a great time to raise funds and fund large, ambitious mobile game initiatives. We considered several avenues to raise growth capital this year. Our approach to acquiring Ludia was initially to partner with a SPAC and go public with Jam City and raise funds through that transaction.

We turned around and instead decided to raise capital privately for the acquisition. As a result, we acquired Ludia through the SPAC without the cost or delay of an IPO and successfully completed a private capital increase of $ 350 million last month.

We have a reputation for integrating new teams efficiently and effectively into Jam City

Josh Yguado

We have a reputation for integrating new teams efficiently and effectively into Jam City. For example, in the past three years we have successfully added the Rainbow Star studio in Burbank and completed the acquisitions of TinyCo, Uken Games in Toronto and 231Play.

Each of these studios is now fully integrated into Jam City’s global studio network, and we have significantly increased the performance of each one.

We’re very pleased with our M&A progress to date and look forward to introducing new games and new entertainment experiences to our players.

How has the corporate strategy changed under the new ownership?

Our main goal is to preserve and preserve what makes Ludia so special as a creative studio – to create incredible immersive experiences for gamers.

The Ludia teams are not going to see any major changes in the way they develop games and operate as a company. Most of the changes will take place in the backend, where Jam City’s technology platform and core user acquisition and live gaming capabilities will help drive growth and improve the player experience for all of the games in our growing portfolio.

We plan to further accelerate investments in games and studios at the forefront of the future of mobile gaming. In particular, Ludia’s leadership role in AR and location-based games gives us the opportunity to expand our expertise in this area.

The Ludia acquisition also gives Jam City the opportunity to expand our presence in major Hollywood gaming partnerships and titles.

Do you think the mobile acquisitions will continue at the current pace?

We believe we are still a long way from being at the forefront of mobile gaming. The industry remains the fastest growing entertainment sector in the world. All industry metrics continue to show growth, and the continued growth is supported by significant investments and acquisitions across the industry.

The Western video game industry posted record M&A investments of over $ 25 billion in the first half of 2021.

People around the world are spending more and more time playing. Mobile gaming is three times the size of console games right now and I think we’re just getting started. Mobile games are going to be really good, but they are still a long way from reaching their full potential.

We believe we are still a long way from being at the forefront of mobile gaming

Josh Yguado

With the advancement of mobile phones and the improvement in data delivery, we will see better and better mobile products that will take the industry to new heights.

Has there been anything since the takeover that you would change?

The integration of Ludia in Jam City went more smoothly than we imagined. Our teams are already working together excellently and we look forward to achieving great things together.

Together, we have a strengthened mobile game portfolio that includes new IPs and capabilities, including AR and location-based development expertise. We are keeping an eye on mergers and acquisitions and are using the proceeds from the recent increase to acquire more great studios from around the world and continue on our aggressive growth path.

Are M&A a good thing for the gaming industry as a whole?

As industries mature, there will inevitably be a consolidation. If we look at the top entertainment sectors, they have all consolidated into the top 5-10 players over time (the console, television, and movie industries are good examples of this). We believe the mobile gaming industry is still at a very early stage and remains relatively fragmented with opportunities for more synergies and partnerships.

We also believe that as the mobile gaming industry matures, there will be plenty of room for both large developers and smaller, gruff startups. It is important that any creative industry has enough flexibility (and a low enough barrier to entry) to allow the creation and entry of new ideas.

As industries mature, there will inevitably be a consolidation

Josh Yguado

On the other hand, as high-end mobile game production values ​​and development costs increase over time, it becomes imperative that large developers have the resources to invest in developing blockbuster mobile game titles. We think there is room for both and that we are only at the beginning of the golden age of mobile gaming.

What advice would you give to companies that are either making an acquisition or looking to be acquired?

Everything starts with the product. Don’t build for what you think a buyer might want – build for what you love and what you think game fans need.

Also, people and talent are very important – if Jam City is looking to make an acquisition, we look for talent with the ability and hunger to grow. An important trait we seek in all of our teams is curiosity – everyone tries to learn, improve and explore themselves every day, regardless of their role in the company.

We’re always looking for great talented people, teams, and studios that have grown fun and magic in their game, but who may benefit from more back-end support and UA capabilities. With these building blocks, our goal is to develop games that will become a permanent part of players’ lives, and we are looking for partners who want to do this over the long term.

Learn more about Jam City on the website.


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